Babies are susceptible to many health problems, some of which can be fatal. It is essential for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these health problems and to take their baby to the doctor if they suspect something is wrong.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in the United States, about 7,000 babies die before their first birthday. Many of these deaths are from preventable causes, such as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), congenital anomalies, or infections.
There are several things parents can do to keep their baby healthy and reduce the risk of these deadly diseases. Some simple steps include:
- Breastfeeding your baby whenever possible
- Making sure your baby gets all their recommended vaccinations
- Putting your baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS
- Cleaning your baby’s pacifier with hot water and soap
By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that your baby has a healthy start in life. However, you must still watch out for these common health issues that could be life-threatening if left untreated.
Babies may have trouble breathing for several reasons, including bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia. If your baby is having difficulty breathing, you will notice them struggling to take in air or make grunting noises when they breathe out. They may also have a fast heart rate, flared nostrils, and blue lips.
If you think your baby is having difficulty breathing, immediately take them to the emergency room. The symptoms of respiratory distress can worsen quickly, so it is essential to get help directly.
A fever in a baby under three months old can be a sign of severe infection and must get treated immediately. If your baby has a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, immediately take them to the doctor.
You should also seek medical attention if your baby’s armpit temperature is over 99 degrees Fahrenheit or if they have had a fever for more than two days. Some parents might believe that home remedies can help reduce a fever. Still, it is essential to get professional medical help to ensure that the fever does not cause further complications. Pediatric urgent care services might be a good option for after-hours care. Babies cannot live out a fever similar to well-developed adults can handle.
Diarrhea and Vomiting
Babies can have diarrhea for several reasons, including a virus, food intolerance, or an infection. If your baby has watery, loose stools more than three times in one day, they may have diarrhea. It would help if you also watched out for other symptoms of dehydration, such as a dry mouth, crying without tears, sunken eyes, or no wet diapers for three hours.
If your baby has diarrhea, it is essential to ensure that they stay hydrated by giving them plenty of fluids. You can provide them with breast milk or infant formula if they are not breastfeeding. You can give diluted fruit juice or oral rehydration solutions if they are six months old. It is essential not to share your baby cow’s milk until they are at least one year old, as it can worsen diarrhea.
Vomiting can also signify dehydration, so you should watch for the same signs and symptoms. In addition, if your baby is vomiting green or yellow liquid, has bloody vomit, or has projectile vomits, you should take them to the doctor immediately, as these could be signs of a more severe problem.
Dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting can quickly become life-threatening, so it is crucial to get medical help immediately if you think your baby is dehydrated.
Babies can become dehydrated quickly, so it is essential to watch out for signs of dehydration. These include a dry mouth, sunken eyes, few or no tears when crying, and little urine output. If your baby shows signs, immediately give them fluids such as water or an electrolyte solution. You can also try breast milk or formula if your baby cannot keep down fluids.
If you are unsure whether your baby is dehydrated, consult a doctor. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Babies are also at risk of health problems from their environment. Some common environmental hazards include lead poisoning, mold, and secondhand smoke.
Lead poisoning can occur if your baby gets exposed to lead-based paint or lead dust. Symptoms of lead poisoning include developmental delays, behavior problems, and learning difficulties. If you think your baby has got exposed to lead, take them to the doctor for a blood test.
Mold can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If you think your baby got exposed to mold, take them to the doctor for an evaluation. It would help if you removed the mold from your home to prevent further exposure.
Secondhand smoke is also dangerous for babies and can cause respiratory problems, SIDS, and other health problems. If you smoke, do not do so around your baby. It is also best to avoid being around secondhand smoke as much as possible.
While it is essential to be vigilant about your baby’s health, remember that most health problems can get easily treated if caught early. If you are unsure about your baby’s health, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. It is always better to be safe than sorry about your baby’s health.